Employment Guide



  • USCIS authorization is not necessary.
  • No waiting period- can begin working during first semester
  • Must be in status and have a current I-20 issued by Armstrong State University
  • Hours are limited to part-time (20 hours or less per week) during the academic year and full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during holiday and summer breaks.
  • Contact departments directly to seek jobs. Job offers are also posted in hallways and on bulletin boards across campus. You can check the Department of Human Resources website for additional employment opportunities.
  • To begin employment on-campus, it is required that you have a Social Security card and updated tax information. You MUST see Kristin in the Office of International Education to complete this step!
  • Notify Kristin Kasting, Assistant Director International Education, of all employment.

Economic Hardship (Off-campus employment)

  • Must be in F1 status for at least one academic year to apply.
  • Based on economic necessity. Must document a sudden, unforeseen change in financial circumstances. You must provide proof!
  • Must be in good academic standing.
  • Employment is not required to be related to the field of study. You do not have to have an offer of employment.
  • Work is limited to part-time (20 hours or less) while school is in session; can be full-time during official school breaks.
  • Must apply for and receive EAD from USCIS before employment begins.
  • A transfer of schools ends employment authorization.
  • $340 application fee. Adjudication takes approximately 3-5 months but can vary in expediency.
  • Must reapply yearly. Only valide in one year increments.
  • VERY difficult to obtain!


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • Lawfully enrolled full-time for one academic year (two semesters) at an approved school. Exceptions exist for graduate students whose programs require immediate CPT. Can only be approved before completion of degree requirements.
  • Must have an offer of employment. A change of employer requires a change in CPT. You must get new approval.
  • Can be approved for part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (over 20 hours)
  • Must be an integral part of your program — part of your degree requirements. Verification is required from your academic advisor.
  • Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT. Part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
  • USCIS approval is not required. You must receive written authorization from the international student advisor and a new I-20 with CPT notation before work begins.
  • Must maintain a full course of study

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Must be lawfully enrolled full-time for one academic year (two semesters) at an approved school. Available before and after completion of degree program (pre-completion and post-completion), but different rules apply to each
  • Offer of employment is not a requirement. A change of employer does not require a new application. However, you must notify the international student advisor anytime there is a change in employment.
  • A maximum of 12 months per education level is allowed. Part-time OPT (only allowed for pre-completion) is deducted from the 12 month limit at 50%.
  • Must be directly related to the course of study and should be commensurate with the level of study.
  • Must apply for and receive an EAD from USCIS before work begins. Can apply up to 60 days after program completion. The international student advisor must assist with the application process.
  • Pre-completion OPT (part-time) requires full-time course of study unless during school breaks. Post-completion OPT must be full-time (20 hours or more)
  • A transfer or change in degree level cancels any practical training.
  • $340 application fee. Adjudication takes approximately 3-5 months but can vary in expediency.